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I’ve been nominated by the talented blogger, Stanalei Fletcher, for the Sunshine Award! I’m in awe of Stan so it took me a moment to collect myself.

This award is given to bloggers by bloggers “who positively and creatively inspire others in the blogosphere.” Thank you Stan for the nomination!

Stan’s ‘Friday Favorites’ is a smorgasbord that inspires and educates along the writing path. I come away stuffed with motivation, knowledge and a few chuckles. She’s one of the most humble, hardworking and giving writers I’ve come across. And the woman can write! Her writing career has exploded this year with Wild Rose Press, her latest success, Lightening Only Strikes Twice.

Amazon link: http://www.amazon.com/s/ref=nb_sb_ss_i_0_8?url=search-alias%3Dstripbooks&field-keywords=stanalei+fletcher&sprefix=stanalei%2Cstripbooks%2C180&rh=n%3A283155%2Ck%3Astanalei+fletcher

Stop by her blog: http://www.stanaleifletcher.com/blog/

And see what I mean.

The rules of the Sunshine Award are as follows:

1.     Thank the person who gave you the award in your blog post.

2.     Answer the questions below.

3.     Pass the award to 10 – 12 deserving and inspiring bloggers, inform them and link to their blogs.

Here are the questions:

Favorite color: Tough one, I like them all, but I’ll go with pink.

Favorite number: Does ‘infinity’ count as a number?

Favorite non-alcoholic drink: Mocha anything.

Facebook or Twitter: Facebook.

Your passion: My adorable husband, kids and the Wild Child, beyond those, health, reading, writing, and the pursuit of spiritual truth.

Giving or getting presents: Giving. I don’t need anything.

Favorite flower: A bunch of Sunflowers and Iris.

And my nominations are, envelope please:

Rhonda Hopkins: http://rhondahopkins.com/

P J Sharon: http://www.pjsharonyawriter.blogspot.com

Calisa Rhose: http://calisarhose.com/chit-chat/

Ella Quinn: http://ellaquinnauthor.wordpress.com/

Anastasia Pollack: http://anastasiapollack.blogspot.com/

Eliza Knight: http://www.historyundressed.com/

Harley Brooks: http://www.jcolemanauthor.blogspot.com/

Enjoy!


 
 
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Okay, I don't often torture myself with January resolutions, but I have made a slew of changes in my life of late.

ONE: I gave up soda pop. There were headaches., but on day five that left and I feel great. Yahoo! I'm gluten intolerant and can't afford to mess with my digestion. Worth it!

TWO: I have a new cover for my Vampire Romance, CONQUERED. It's steamier and truer to the story. You can check it out on the BOOKS page. I love it!

THREE:  Time to get over myself and just write. Stop worrying about what others might think. Write for me. Yes, that means the characters may indulge in sex. I'm over it. Sex is a part of life and a blessing. Those who don't know this are doing it wrong. Sorry, but in my opinion
true.

FOUR:  As you've figured out by now, I'm telling things like they are--or my opinion of things. You are welcome to disagree.
You have a right to tell it like you see it, too. I applaud that. I feel like a ten ton weight has lifted off my little body. Ahhh!
You might want to try it.

That's the short post for December. Plenty time for you to give your resolutions some thought.
What changes are you making for the New year?
It is your life, time to own it.

Best to you all and Happy Everything!


 
 
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ONE SMALL STEP.
In honor of Neil Armstrong.
"It's one small step for man, one giant leap for mankind."

This statement encompasses how goals are reached, one small step at a time.
Armstrong's walk on the moon was both a culmination of a goal and a beginning for the U.S. Space Program.

It's the same for us.
That first act toward our goal requires a leap of faith in our dreams and ourselves. We are filled with anticipation and fear as we consider alien territory. Our hands sweat. Our tongue sticks to the roof of our mouth and our knees tremble. Our goals seem as big and as far away as the moon. How can we ever hope to accomplish our desires?

Do something. Anything.

Do one small thing different than the day before. Any action will break inertia and move us forward. Change increases momentum. Small actions took us to the moon. Don't discount their power.

Neil Armstrong had no guarantees of what he'd encounter on the lunar surface. Life doesn't come with guarantees. Those who courageously stand at the portal and dare to gaze at their desires have no promise.
But one.
Nothing will happen if they don't do something different.
We are forever changed by accepting that opportunity.
That moment begins with one small step into the unknown.

 
 
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THE ROOTS ARE GOOD.


I've been reminded to seek my roots. An elderly great-aunt called me. She's over ninety and is seeking family to share her stories of those passed on. Though we've never met, we both felt the connection. We're family. It was amazing to hear of a great-grandfather whose wife was a mail-order bride, and the great-uncle who was a bootlegger and was found dead on the prairie from a bullet through his head.

These tales connect me to family, but they are also a key to who I am. I have the opportunity to learn from my progenitor's mistakes and not repeat them. Their struggles become mine. Their losses pull at my heart. Visualizing the great-grandmother who bore thirteen children on the dirt floor of a cabin, and buried two sets of twins in hard prarie sod puts my own difficulties into perspective. There's strength in my bones because I know about her.
And the Scottish ancestor who fought for freedom and was executed, his head set on the Edinburgh bridge as a warning to other rebels, answers the question of where my own fierce love of freedom sprouted from. It's part of who I am.

In two weeks, I leave to visit my parents in California. They aren't well and everyday is a gift. I'll be reminded that I look like my dad's side of the family as my dad regales me with the story of how his father sparred with the famous boxer, Jack Dempsey. And my dad will share the tale of how a cougar cornered him when he was five-years-old in the wilds of Wyoming. Uncovering who we are through family can be uncomfortable. It's not all pretty, but it is worth it. I know that somewhere inside of me lies strength, courage, and tenacity. I may not have tapped those gifts fully, but they're there. I know.
My ancestors prove it.

If you have a chance to attend a family reunion, please take it. Talk to the older relatives and bless yourself with tales of the past.
The stories that shed light on who you are down to your core are worth noting. Write them down. Share them with your children and relatives.
Pull from the best of yourself. The roots are good.

 
 
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Sandy L. Rowland

I'm a wife, mother and grandmother. I've worked in banking, as a life coach, practiced and taught massage therapy, and I'm an award winning author of paranormal and fantasy romance.
Sharing life and love with my family, between the Wasatch Mountains and red rock desert.



CHANGE IS GOOD, JUST ASK PHIL CONNORS.

Humans are adverse to change.
We prefer the same routine, same job, same relationships, same beliefs and the same food.
Sounds dull and confining.
It is.

Where's the excitement, adventure, and growth in living the endless loop of yesterday?
The movie, GROUND HOG DAY, is popular in part, because we can all relate to the tedium of our lives.
In the film, when does Phil Connors overcome frustration and depression?
When he chooses to overcome himself and change.

I was thrown into the volcanic furnace of change recently.

First, I was offered a contract for my novel.
Yahoo! Yes, very exciting and affirming.
I studied the contract, the rosy glow of acceptance faded in realities glare.
My goal of publication stared back at me from a standard contract.

I passed it up.
Yes, you read that correctly.
After much thought, research, and prayer, I chose to self publish.
There are a number of reasons for this, but this post is about change so here goes.

My sought after goal of traditional publication changed.
Then my husband decided to remodel the basement.
More change.
My daughter and her family are moving home after eight years living out of state.
Major happy dance.
Another change.

And they've moved in with us, wild two-year-old in tow, until they find a house.
Still happy dancing, but a bit tired.
Change.

And my point?
Embrace change and learn to love it.

There were other changes as well, a couple dear friends died, a betrayal, and an illness,
but I've chosen to get over the circumstances and grow.

My new mantra:
Change is good.
Change is my friend.
I love it!

My husband stares at me sideways when I chant under my breath during trying episodes.
He figures it's okay unless I start forming a cult.
A cult would be a static group centered on a firm belief,
and would run contrary to change.
Yeah, hubby can relax.
No cult.

Like Phil Connors in the film, I've chosen to wake up when the alarm bells ring,
see the opportunities, and make the most of them.

Where is change bringing new opportunities to you?